In an article posted on Forbes Online titled “For Startups: Video Rules, Text Drools,” Mark Evans makes a compelling case that startups stand to benefit more from video advertising/promotion compared to text-heavy forms of marketing communications. He mentions audiences generally prefer video over text because the former conveys a great deal of information in a more “digestible form” than the latter.
While the above-mentioned article focuses on marketing to consumers, there are a growing number of studies and cases that support the huge potential of videos in the B2B marketing setting, particularly in email marketing. This post looks at why and how startups can maximize their email campaigns through using videos produced for recipients in a B2B contact list.
Research has shown that B2B recipients, regardless of whether belonging to an in-house email list or acquired through list vendors online, tend to be more interactive with video-related emails. Data from Forrester Research indicate that video emails have as much as 2-3 times better click-through rates (CTR) compared to static emails. According to Flimp Video, the average CTR for video-containing emails is around 42% while the average response rate is 23%.
For startups, these statistics should be a source of motivation to venture into video email marketing. With very little brand recognition and established customer base, startups can rely on email videos as part of their marketing strategies to generate some favorable responses. Here are six tips to help in achieving this:
1. Keep it short. Your videos should be between 90 seconds to 3 minutes in length. Remember, the recipients in your B2B contact list are typically pressed for time and facing an overwhelming workload. Don’t let your videos add to the burden they’re already carrying. Consider releasing your video in parts if you can’t keep it under 3 minutes or so.
2. Use a video landing page. Although there’s an ongoing debate on whether to embed videos on email messages or add a link to a video landing page, the latter option is a lot safer. Embedding can lead to compatibility and deliverability issues which undermine the whole point of using videos in the first place. A video landing page, on the other hand, is more logistically sound and guarantees delivery.
3. Simplify the script. Like text-reliant emails, video emails should avoid lengthy and wordy sentences and make sure that key points aren’t lost in the message. Make your sentences/phrases as concise as possible without being vague. Make sure that your script follows a coherent and logical sequence of ideas. Write a script that engages the viewers from your B2B email list in a conversation.
4. Prioritize content/message. It’s very easy to get tangled up with things like special video effects and graphics. Although these items have their place in the production, they shouldn’t turn into your number-one priority. Your content/message should remain your top concern throughout the process because, in the final analysis, this is what your B2B audience will care about.
5. Include a call to action. No matter what purpose your video emails are developed for, always make sure to include a clear and specific call to action (CTA). Your script should support a seamless transition from your main content into your CTAs. Also, make sure that your video doesn’t contain more than 3 CTAs.
6. Test and track. Like many aspects in email marketing, video tactics need to be regularly evaluated and/or modified to adapt to changes like shifting viewer preferences. As such, make sure to conduct regular testing and keep track of metrics and variables attributable to your video email efforts. Also, it may be helpful to compile a separate video subscriber list of recipients from your own email database or from online contact list sellers.
All in all, video emails are another marketing tactic for startups to consider. They should be part of a broader and consistent email marketing strategy that in turn is aligned to an overall marketing plan. And, like other email tactics, video emails should be used with the right frequency and scheduling.